Monday, 27 June 2011

Zabba Dabba Doo!

Crema di Zabaione con Meringhe alla Griglia & Fette d'Arancia
Zabaione Cream with Grilled Meringue and Orange Slices

Just to prove that I can sometimes be a sweet guy, I decided to make a nice little dessert for you all. Unfortunately I had to eat it all by myself- I would have loved to have shared it with you! So I guess the best that I can do to make up for it is to write up this little rendition of how I made it, in the hope that you will make it for yourselves someday!

Can you believe I made this beautiful dessert using only one egg and a half an orange per person? Do you already love it?!?! That is pretty awesome isn't it! Sometimes, the simplest of ideas and ingredients make for the best recipes. As usual, this little number was born of my impatience and sheer thick-headedness... I just WANTED it to work... and it did work! 

And how!

To make the little meringue rolls, I whipped egg whites with powdered sugar and a little grated orange zest until they were nice and firm. Then I grabbed my beloved grill pan and heated it until it was very hot. I carefully dropped the meringue mixture onto the pan, one tablespoonful at a time. After a minute or so, the bottom of the meringe will have set.  Now you are going to have to be brave, as the meringue in itself is VERY soft. Using a spatula, carefully roll the meringue up and off the pan- push it gently back and it will fold over onto itself. It is not THAT difficult once you have loosened the front edge. Now roll these little meringues over again, forming a little "tube" or "cushion". The meringue will soon firm-up and you will be able to roll them over. After 4-5 minutes, they will be a nice, light, golden browned on all sides. Tricky but not impossible! And well worth the experimentation!

The zabaione is thankfully a little LESS tricky- but it is still tricky enough to be a challenge. That being said, the sense of achievement after making a zabaione is reward enough... that and the joy of eating it!

Beat the yolks and some sugar until the mixture is palest yellow tending towards white, then beat in a little dessert wine and cook over a double boiler. The original recipe calls for a sweet, Sicilian Marsala- but I have this yummy, sweet, Sicilian wine called Zibibbo and that is what I used. Mainly because of the name- isn't that a hoot? I also added a dash of Cointreau to incress the orange flavor. A good squeeze of orange juice and some finely grated orange zest go in next... Don't let it reach a boil and remove it from the fire as soon as it thickens.

Zabaione tastes wonderful hot, warm or cold and I decided to finish mine off under the broiler. I filled a small bowl with 5-6 heaped tablespoons of the zabaione cream and then 3-4 of the little meringue rolls. I then added some orange slices, gave it a nice sprinkle of powdered sugar and popped it under the broiler for a minute or so at the top heat, just to brown everything off nicely!

And there you have it. Proof that I can be sweet as well as being cheap and cheerful! And a dessert that is so cheap to make is also sure to make you cheerful!

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